Saturday, 29 September 2012

love old French quilts...



There is something about antique French quilts that I adore, maybe it is beacuse they always contain a hidden past. This particular beauty comes from a local chateau hence we know a little of the history.

She started her life in the late 1800's in a stunninng bedroom with large ornate fireplace and of course was sewn by hand as you can see from looking at the photo blow of the reverse side.



Such a stunning quilt as as called in France; boutis, she would look stunning in any bedroom.


Dimensions:
87 "/220 cms L x 85"/216 cms W.

For more details, please click here.
 
Leeann x

Friday, 28 September 2012

French Food Friday...Boeuf Bourguignon

 
Recipe and photo from here
 
As I sit writing this post, there is a wonderful smell wafting through the house, for me there is nothing nicer than the smell of beef bourguignon, such a wonderful rich smell, a combination of wine and beef mixed with herbs = fabulous and very French.....
 
Note the stakes run high as I have chosen to use an Australian version of the recipe from Melbourne’s France-Soir Restaurant and French Boyfriend even bought all his recipe books incase I needed a guide.....I keep telling him that I rate Australian restaurants  as some of the best that I have eaten at but he thinks that I am biased due to the fact that I hold an Aussie passport....hence my stress levels are at an all time high but am sure a glass of France's fine red wine will settle these nicely. 
 
I do not think now is a good time to start singing the virtues of Australian or even New Zealand wine but have got him drinking Californian wine and he likes both the red and the rosé.

 

Boeuf Bourguignon

Serves 6 Cooking Time Prep time 30 mins, cook 3 hrs 15 mins (plus resting)

1.5 litres red wine
150 ml vegetable oil
1.5 kg oyster blade steak, cut into 5cm pieces
200 gm smoked bacon, cut into lardons
1 onion, finely diced
1 celery stalk, finely diced
¼ red capsicum, finely diced
25 gm plain flour, sieved
1 tsp tomato paste
1 bouquet garni (see note)
500 gm button mushrooms, halved
2 carrots, finely diced
To serve: boiled chat potatoes, tossed in butter and chopped parsley


1 Cook wine in a saucepan over medium-high heat until reduced by two-thirds (20-25 minutes). Set aside and keep warm.
2 Heat half the oil in a large frying pan over high heat, add beef in batches and turn occasionally until brown (3-5 minutes). Remove beef and place in a shallow baking tray, set aside.
3 Heat remaining oil in a large casserole over medium heat, add bacon, onion, celery and capsicum and sauté until tender (7-10 minutes). Add beef, pan juices and flour and stir to combine (1 minute). Add tomato paste and stir occasionally until colour darkens (1-2 minutes), then add wine, bouquet garni and 500ml water. Bring to the simmer, reduce heat to low and cook until slightly reduced (25-30 minutes), then add mushroom and carrot and cook until meat is tender (1½-2 hours). Season to taste, discard bouquet garni and set aside in a warm place to rest (30 minutes). Serve hot with boiled chat potatoes.


Note To make bouquet garni, tie three sprigs of flat-leaf parsley, 6 sprigs fresh thyme and 3 fresh bay leaves together with kitchen string.
 
....bon appetit à tous, Leeann x

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Wednesday Inspiration...

photo from here
 
 
15h10 mercredi apres-midi and I am playing catchup. Not sure where the day has gone, I have decided that it is going to be one of those days and I am simply going to go with the flow.....what I do not get done today can wait until tomorrow.
 
It is colder here today and there is a chill in the air, it has come as quite a shock 18 degrees versus the 33 degrees that we had on Sunday.
 
Hence the flowers in todays post as I am not ready to say au revoir to summer just yet. Love the idea of putting them in the champagne bucket, they really do look stunning.
 
Back to painting, I must go.....
 
à demain mes belles, Leeann x  
 


Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Adorable....



These wee taupe linen signs with red cross stitch embroidery, arrived today at Fabulously French and I think that they would make for a perfect small gift.

There are 3 designs; one with the word Chut.....




which is the same as "shush" in English, perfect for placing on the door when someone is sleeping;



one with "Bienvenue"/welcome
 


and the third has "Amitié"/friendship which would make a lovely gift for a friend.



You will find more details by clicking here.

Also new in stock today, is the fabulous clock with rose detail, note we only have one of these available.

 

I am off to sort out the shop as there are boxes everywhere.....

....à demain mes belles, Leeann x

p.s. Am hoping to go moss hunting later in the day!

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Need to find some moss...


photo from here
 

 
I love decorating with moss and used a lot last Autumn and Winter.
 
I normally use moss to decorate around the bottom of orchids and even place moss in hurricane lamps then place candles on top.
 
This morning in between flea markets, we stopped at a fabulous Salon du Thé/Boutique Hotel  with equally fabulous and also "antique loving" owners, for a quick coffee.
 
We also enjoy visiting as there is always a new tresaure to admire and this morning in the hotel reciption area, was an amazing display made from moss that loooked like carpet and on top were some fabulous naturalised birds.
 
Also scattered around the hotel were urns similar to those in the photo above, full with this lovely moss.
 
Hence my mission is to find some of the fabulous moss that is very carpet like...will let you know how I get on!
 
...bon dimanche à vous toutes et tous, Leeann x

p.s. Just stumbled upon this fabulous article on decorating with moss.
 

Friday, 21 September 2012

French Food Friday....Oven-cooked plums

Photo and recipe from here

 

It is plum season here in SW France, hence we have an abundance of them at our house.

Today's recipe is a simple but very yummy one especially when served warm with either cream or icecream......

Oven-cooked plums


Serves 4-6
12-16 ripe plums or apricots, halved
15g cube of soft butter
60g vanilla sugar
2 vanilla pods
4 tbsp dark or golden rum
To serve
Cold pouring cream or vanilla icecream, if you prefer

Step 1) Set the fruit, cut sides up, in a large heatproof baking dish or lined roasting pan rubbed generously with butter. Sprinkle half the vanilla sugar over the fruit.

Step 2) Pre-heat the grill to the highest setting. Place the fruit under the grill and cook for 8-12 minutes or until dark, sticky and almost collapsed. (Or pre-heat the oven to 230°C, Gas Mark 8 and bake near the top for 20-30 minutes.)


Step 3) Halve the vanilla pods lengthwise, scrape out the seeds and mix these with the remaining sugar. Stir in the rum to make the syrup. Crisscross the empty vanilla pods over the fruit and drizzle with the rum and vanilla syrup. Serve warm with cream or icecream. 

...bon appetit à tous, Leeann x

Thursday, 20 September 2012

food, food, glorious food!



It was a beautiful Autumn day yesterday, cool in the morning but warmer by midday.

Perfect for eating outside, at a nearby restaurant which has a new owner. We had heard a lot of good things about the restaurant and now we know why everyone is raving about it.

It is called the treize cloches and the reason that it is called this is because you can see 13 church bells from the restaurant. The air is so clean and the views from the terrace really are stunning.


The restaurant entrance






The lunch menu




Loved the presentation of the plates... 


View from the terrace...




Me standing on the terrace, love the restaurant colours....




To visit the restaurant's website, please click here.


à demain mes belles, Leeann x






Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Last of the weekend treasure...



I was lucky enough to arrive at the vendor's stand at the moment he was unpacking this fabulous vintage tole bouillotte lamp

The colour is a lovely grey with slight crackle finish and it has a touch of doré around the edges. The rose detail really is the finishing touch, so fabulously French and at the same time, very shabby chic. For me it really was the find of the day.....


Bonne journée à tous, Leeann x



Monday, 17 September 2012

Weekend finds....



I have been "told off" for not talking about the treasures that I find at the weekend so I am attempting to put things right in today's post......

Yesterday was a fabulous day for treasure hunting; cool first thing but by 11am it was warm aand oh so sunny. The vide grenier that we went to yesterday took place in a village situated on a canal and it was picturisque but we arrived later than we would have liked.

That said I still managed to find a few nice objects including this fabulous cross and benetier which is in immaculate condition.


Here is a close up of the detail on the benetier......


Next find was  this adorable candelabra which would look great on your dare I say it! Christmas table.





Next I found this gorgeous set which was given to small boys of their first communion, it comes complete with original box which has paper lace detail around it.



I am writing this quickly as I am almost out of time as I have to dash off to a meeting, another find was this gorgeous antique print....




I also found a stunning antique tole lamp but will take a photo of it and show you tomorrow.

Last but not least, was this fabulous vintage butterfly collection with butterflies in perfect condition.



I have fly out the door but will update the online shop tomorrow first thing.

à demain mes belles, Leeann x

Saturday, 15 September 2012

12 may 1787....



This is the date written on an antique marriage document that I found at the weekend along with another that is dated 1805.



Ironically one dates pre the revolution and the other just after.




A piece of history, they would look fabulous framed and displayed on a wall. You will find more details here.

...trés bon week-end à tous, Leeann x



Friday, 14 September 2012

French Food Friday...Frisée Salad with Bacon-Shallot Vinaigrette

 
recipe and photo from here
 
 
This weeks recipe is simple but a favourite of mine and we often have this for lunch.....combined with  some lovely bread fresh from the market, it always goes down a treat.
 
Ingredients
3 slice(s) bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
12 ounce(s) (2 to 3 heads) frisée or 2 bags (5 to 6 oz. each) mixed baby salad greens
1 medium shallot, minced
2 tablespoon(s) white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon(s) Dijon mustard
 1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
 1/4 teaspoon(s) pepper
2 tablespoon(s) olive oil
6 large eggs
 
Directions
1.In a medium sized frypan, cook bacon on medium 5 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally.

2.Meanwhile, in 12-inch frypan, heat 1 inch water to boiling on high to poach eggs in later. Trim and discard stem ends from frisée; cut leaves into bite-size pieces. Place greens in large bowl.
3.Remove frypan from heat. With slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.

4.Whisk shallot, vinegar, Dijon, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper. In slow, steady stream, whisk in oil until combined. Add warm vinaigrette to bowl with frisée and toss until evenly coated.

5.Reduce frypan heat to medium to maintain water at gentle simmer. Break eggs, one at a time, into cup. Holding cup close to surface of water, slip in each egg. Cook eggs 3 to 5 minutes or until whites are set and yolks begin to thicken. With slotted spoon, lift out each egg and quickly drain, still in spoon, on paper towels.
6.To serve, divide frisée among 6 salad plates; top with bacon and egg. Sprinkle egg with coarsely groun black pepper if you like.
 
....bon appetit à tous, Leeann x

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Wednesday inspiration...

 
photo from here
 

 
Bonjour mes belles,
 
After a lovely long early morning walk in the country side I am rearing to go, I think that I may have overdosed on the fresh cool air.
 
I found this photo on pinterest this morning and find it most inspiring as I love the mix of textures and the colours are gorgeous.....
 
On that note, I must leave you and start some work.
 
 Trés bonne journée à tous, Leeann x   

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Found a new restaurant....



Yesterday we found a new restaurant as a result of our favourite restaurant in Perigueux being closed as it was Monday and guess who forgot to check the days the restaurant was open....the same person who thought it was a good idea to wear 4 " heals and park miles away from the restaurant.

But it turned out for the best as we had lunch at a new restaurant called au bureau which is part of a French chain of restaurants. Inspired by London pubs but adapted for french taste, the concept is a winning one.

I loved everything about it......the design was fabulous complete with lots of lovely chandeliers, striped wall paper and chocolately brown chairs which were very comfy. 

The service was great despite the restaurant being busy and every plate that came out of the kitchen looked delicious.....merci to our lovely waiter for explaining what each of the plates on the neighbouring tables were.

The logo is equally as fabulous as the restaurant itself... 




And to think that the only reason that we found it was because our favourite restaurant was closed.....

à demain mes belles, Leeann x

Monday, 10 September 2012

perfect....

photo from maison chic magazine

I love all the objects in this photo.....the fabulous bed, ciel de lit, mirror, applique and the portrait....all are charming and oh so French.

amicalement, Leeann x


Sunday, 9 September 2012

almost time for the vendange...


I adore the month of September here in SW France as the mornings are cool and the afternoons hot and sunny. It gets darker earlier and feels cosy as if I need an excuse to light candles.....our house is full of candles and I love the soft  light that they give off.

It is harvest time as you can see from my photos.....the grapes are ripe and ready for picking and within thenext week or so the roads willbe busy with trucks transporting lots of lovely grapes ready for making the wine, that this area is so famous for.

Grapes basking in the  September sunshine



It is like a sea of grapevines with rows and rows of well maintained grape vines, love the lushness of the green against the colour of the earth........

Mother nature is certainly an expert when it comes to colours, each in perfect harmony with the other.....la vie est vraiment belle en France but lets keep this a secret entre nous.

a demain mes belles, Leeann x

Saturday, 8 September 2012

It's the weekend.....



......and I have a "new" vintage bike. I found it last week at the first vide grenier that we visited and I adore her.

She is a "Raleigh" and is similar to the one that I had when growing up in NZ. She has spent a few days at the local bike doctor's and I am planning on taking her for a spin in the country today.

What are you doing this weekend? Dites-moi....

Bon week-end à tous, Leeann x

Friday, 7 September 2012

French Food Friday...Délice au Chocolat et aux Bananes



Délice au Chocolat et aux Bananes… A creamy, extra "chocolatey" treat! Looks beautiful and tastes even better! An easy chocolate dessert recipes that will make you (and your guests!) speechless.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: about 20 minutes

Ingredients: (4 - 6 people)

7 oz. Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate (or your favorite high-quality dark chocolate at 70% cocoa)
2 Eggs
2/3 cup Crème Fraîche (or heavy cream)
1/2 cup Whole Milk
2-3 Bananas
1 tbsp. Butter (room temperature)
Rum
Powdered Sugar to decorate
Butter and Granulated Sugar for baking dish

How to Make It:

Preheat oven to 350°F
1. Chop chocolate into small pieces and put in a bowl.
2. Heat up cream and milk (don't let it boil!) and pour over chocolate pieces. Stir until chocolate melts and the batter is smooth.
3. Stir in butter until smooth.
4. Once batter is cool, add eggs, and whisk well.
5. Butter and sugar a baking dish (or a flan dish).
6. Cut bananas into thick slices. Line the bottom of baking dish with bananas.
7. Pour chocolate batter into dish, over bananas, and bake for 15-25 minutes, depending on how firm you want it.
8. Take out of oven and sprinkle top with rum and powdered sugar. Put back in oven, best if right under grill, and bake for about 3-5 minutes. Serve Warm.Voilà!

Tip:

You can prepare this dessert ahead of time. I always do! Add rum and powdered sugar, and bake additional 5 minutes right before serving!

Bon appetit à tous, Leeann x

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

au revoir été...







The French weather forecast tells us that we will be having lots of sun this week and it will be hot - mid 30's.

But I have a feeling that this will be our last really warm week  hence it will soon be time to pack away the summer hats and replace them with scarfs...

I adore being cosy and admit to having bought a fake fur throw which looks like the real thing and I have already tried draping it over the sofa and it is most inviting.........roll on Autumn!

I am off to take photos of the new stock, tres bonne journee à tous.....Leeann x





Monday, 3 September 2012

Look what I found...

 
 
 
6am in the morning and 8 degrees....colder than normal hence most of the sellers were wrapped in blankets.
 
Was it worth getting up early? I think you already know the answer as one of the first objects I found was this stunning Napoleon III style clock which I plan to place on my mantle in my boutique.
 
 
 
I love the details and the contrast of the gold aginst the almost transparent marble....
 
 
 
 
Think that she ties in well with my Christmas theme this year....all that glitters..
 
Other tresors include a fabulous old French quilt in fabulous condition, gold rocaille style candelabra and a set of 12 immaculate monogrammed napkins.
 
I am hoping to spend this week updating the shop as I have a lot of new items that I have yet to photograph and place online.
 
Bonne semaine à tous, Leeann x
 
 
 
 
 

Saturday, 1 September 2012

In love...

photo from here

.....with this gorgeous French style kitchen, which would believe in not in France but belongs to a fabulous French style house in South Africa.



It really is stunning.....you can see more photos here.

Bon week-end à tous, Leeann x